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  • Section K: School Community Relations



Districts can apply for federal Title I funding through the Maine Department of Education. These funding sources provide academic support for struggling learners. Funding for Title I is authorized under the Every Student Succeeds Act. ESSA describes the requirements for recipients of Title I funding. This RSU 21 policy outlines the district's compliance with Title I funding requirements. Among the requirements is Family Involvement; ESSA views the involvement of parents/guardians and families as a key component of students’ academic success. 

The RSU 21 Board also recognizes that parent/guardian and family involvement is a significant factor in the academic achievement of students and in improving the quality of our schools. We understand that family configurations can be quite varied and use the terms parents/guardians and families to reflect the diversity of family situations.  The Board encourages all parents, guardians and families of students in Title I programs in their schools, to become involved in their education and to participate in programs and activities offered by the school unit.  

This policy outlines how the school unit and each school will support and implement parent/guardian and family involvement activities. The Superintendent is responsible for designating appropriate personnel to carry out the school unit responsibilities described in this policy.

A. Development and Review of Title I Plan

RSU 21 will share and collect parent/guardian and family input into varied aspects of Title I programming including:

  1. Developing a district-wide newsletter to communicate with parents/guardians about the school unit’s Title I plan;

  2. Seeking parent and family input related to program effectiveness; and

  3. Establishing effective and ongoing two-way communications between the school unit, staff, and parents/guardians about student progress.

B. Support for Parent/Guardian and Family Involvement Activities

RSU 21 will assign staff to provide coordination, technical assistance and other support necessary to assist each Title I school in planning and implementing effective parent and family involvement activities to improve student academic achievement and school performance.

The school unit shall include parents/guardians and family members in decision-making regarding the allotment of federal funding to carry out parent activities under this policy through annual parent/guardian surveys and family engagement events.

The school unit and each school will support and build parental/guardian, familial and community involvement in the schools, including the following activities: 

  1. Shall provide assistance to parents/guardians and families in understanding state and local achievement standards and assessments and how they can work with teachers to improve their child’s achievement;

  2. Shall provide materials and training to help parents/guardians, and families work with their child to improve achievement (such as literacy training and use of technology, including the harms of copyright privacy), as appropriate, to foster parental involvement;

  3. Shall educate teachers, specialized instructional support personnel, principals, other school leaders, and other staff, with the assistance of parents/guardians and families, in the value of parent/guardian and family involvement and methods to communicate with, and work with parents/guardians and families as equal partners, implement and coordinate parent/guardian, and family programs, and build ties between parents/guardians, and families and the schools;

  4. Shall to the extent feasible and appropriate, coordinate parent/guardian and family involvement programs and activities with other Federal, State, and local programs, including public preschool programs, and conduct other activities, such as parent resource centers, to support parent and family involvement in the education of their child;

  5. Shall ensure that information related to school and parent programs, meetings, and other activities is sent to the parents/guardians in a format and, to the extent practicable, in a language the parents/guardians can understand; and 

  6. Shall provide “such other reasonable support for parental/guardian involvement activities as parents/guardians may request.”

C. School-Level Activities

The following activities shall be conducted in each school for parents/guardians and families of children participating in Title I:

  1. Parents/guardians and  families shall be invited and encouraged to attend an annual meeting, which shall be held at a convenient time, to inform parents/guardians and families about Title I and its requirements, and the right of parent/ guardians and families to be involved.

  2. The school will offer a flexible number of meetings to encourage parent/guardian and family involvement.

  3. Parents/guardians and families will be included in the planning, review and improvement of Title I programs, policies and procedures.

  4. Parents/guardians and families will be provided with the following:

    • Timely information about Title I programs;

    • A description and explanation of the school’s curriculum, forms of academic assessment and expected student proficiency levels, and achievement levels of the State student academic standards;

    • At parent/guardian or family request, opportunities for regular meetings so that parents/guardians and  families can make suggestions and participate, as appropriate, in decisions relating to their child’s education; the school will respond to any such suggestions as soon as practically possible; and

    •  Meetings will be held at times such as mornings or evenings to encourage parent/guardian and family participation.   

  5. If the school plan is not satisfactory to the parents/guardians of participating children, the school will submit any parent/guardian comments on the plan when the school makes the plan available to the local educational agency. 

D. School-Parent/Guardian/Compact

Each school shall develop with parents/guardians, and families a school-parent/guardian compact (the “Compact”) that outlines how parents/guardians and families, school staff, and students will share the responsibility for improving academic achievement and helping students to meet the state’s academic standards.

The Compact shall: 

  1. Describe the school’s responsibility to provide high quality curriculum and instruction in a supportive and effective learning environment that enables the children in Title I programs to meet the State’s student academic achievement standards, and the ways in which each parent (or guardian/caregiver, and family member) will 

    • be responsible for supporting their children’s learning;

    • take advantage of opportunities to volunteer and participate in their child’s class, and 

    • participate, as appropriate, in decisions relating to the education of their children and positive use of extracurricular time. 

  2. Address the importance of communication between teachers and parents/guardians on an ongoing basis through, at a minimum:

  • Parent/guardian-teacher conferences in elementary schools, at least annually, during which the Compact shall be discussed as it relates to the individual child’s achievement;

  • Frequent reports to parents/guardians on their children’s progress;

  • Reasonable access to staff, opportunities to volunteer and participate in their child’s class, and observation of classroom activities; and

  • Ensuring regular two-way, meaningful communication between parents/guardian and school staff, and, to the extent practicable, in a language that parents/guardians and family members can understand.

E. Annual Policy Evaluation and Revisions 

The school unit will conduct, with the meaningful involvement of parents/guardians and family members, an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of this policy in improving the academic quality of all schools, including identifying the following factors: 

  1. Barriers to greater participation by parents/guardians, in activities (with particular attention to parents, guardians, and/or caregivers who are economically disadvantaged, are disabled, have limited English proficiency, have limited literacy, or are of any racial or ethnic minority background);

  2. Needs of parents/guardians and/or family members to assist with their child’s learning, including engaging with school personnel and teachers; and

  3. Strategies to support successful school and family interactions.

The school unit will use the findings of the annual evaluation to design evidence-based strategies for more effective parental/guardian involvement and to revise, if necessary, these parent/guardian and  family engagement policies.

F. Distribution of Policy

This policy shall be distributed to parents/guardians of all students participating in Title I programs.

Legal References: 20 U.S.C. § 6318 

NO DATE OF LAST REVIEW - Procedure was last reviewed in 2017.

Updated: 10/30/23

  • Section K